I get sent a lot of books to read and review.
A lot of them are okay. Even more of them are kind of okay, but nothing I’d recommend.
Then there are those books that I go out, track down and buy with my own money.
Marketing in the Round by Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston is definitely one of the latter.
Gini and Geoff are both writers and thinkers I greatly respect and I could not have been happier to go out and grab their book on my own. I also could not have been more happy with what I found within their pages.
It’s one of the best thought-out and practically helpful books I’ve read about the full idea of marketing in a LONG time. I highly suggest the material, if you haven’t already gathered that.
Okay, that’s enough of an impromptu book review as we’re here to talk about Social CRM.
The reason I bring up the book at all is because the topic they discuss in the book (fully integrating marketing and outreach channels in organizations) fits so perfectly with the idea of an integrated Social CRM that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it with you, faithful reader.
We’ve talked a lot about crafting experiences for your customers, and integrating your marketing channels led by an inner “round” is a great way to do that as informed by Gini and Geoff in their book.
Early on they make the case that “rarely is one media moment, positive or negative, strong enough to form a full impression” from your customers and they are absolutely right.
By tearing down some walls and creating an integrated Social CRM experience, your company can be relevant at multiple touch-points for your clients and truly make an impression worth making.
By breaking down those barriers (i.e. the silo walls), you can increase the effectiveness of your Social CRM program. As quoted in the book, “a siloed organization cannot act quickly, make productive decisions, or be nimble, which all are required for [communicating] in a networked media age.”
This is all the more important when we focus on bringing Social CRM into the mix too.
Once those barriers are broken and your marketing round team is in place (made up of members from all necessary departments), you have to start building a strategy and listening to the already-present conversations.
In a Social CRM, listening is of utmost importance because “A courageous and intelligent organization will listen to what is being said, or not said, by its customers. It will be calm in its willingness to hear about its efforts to date, and take the feedback to heart.
Dismissing and denying the public’s perceptions and comments leaves reams of valuable data out of the decision-making process. And without accurate data, a marketing round cannot make decisions and choices with precision and confidence.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
They even touch a bit on the importance of truly setting up a system to converse and interact with your customer via a Social CRM, saying “whenever possible, marketers and communicators should directly interact with their primary stakeholders.”
That’s what your Social CRM will be doing, managing those conversations and building metrics to increase their effectiveness. It’s probably not a coincidence that it was announced today that Hootsuite and Hubspot are joining forces to connect social conversation data with lead generation information for customers.
Sound like a familiar idea?
You need those tools working together. You need that help in today’s connected world. Or as Marketing in the Round puts it, “…determining the right approach is crucial to your success.
Reading the tea leaves tells you where to go: Which stakeholders matter the most? How should your company approach them? Do you need to develop a unique product to meet this need [i.e. a Social CRM system]? What does the company need to do to maintain leadership?”
It’s uplifting to see all the different schools of thought come together so beautifully.
I could sit here and quote the book all day, but you’d be better off picking it up yourself or just stopping by Jugnoo’s Social Mix in July to hear Gini and Geoff speak on this in person.
The takeaway is that business communications is evolving and an integrated approach to marketing (including Social CRM) is going to be a vital component in the coming years.
If you’re not already on the train, there’s definitely room for you to jump on board, and if you’re already invested and growing in the right ways, you’re in a good position to lead the pack and your industry for years to come.
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